Historic Interior Restoration

It is important that we all work to preserve and maintain the rich ornamental detail and general character of our Denver historical home interiors. Some of the characteristics that distinguish Denver historical interiors are the distinctive surface materials and finishes, such as wooden planked floors, decorative ceiling beams, and grained doors.The shape and detail of an interior space may be an essential part of what makes it unique.

Repairing Historic Flat Plaster Walls and Ceilings

historic plasterHistorical plaster may appear so worn with time that its complete removal may seem to be the only solution. However there are several practical and historical reasons to restore it. First of all, the old three coat plaster is unequaled in strength and durability. It is resistant to fire and is a great sound barrier. Also, replacing plaster is very expensive, and plaster is often not nearly as damaged as it may appear. Finally, the original lime and gypsum plaster is part of the building’s historical character. Its smooth troweled and textured surfaces along with the subtle contours display the workmanship of the home’s early craftsmen.

There are many approaches to repairing flat plaster walls and ceilings, however in our opinion repairs using wet plaster and traditional materials and techniques that will best preserve the historic beauty of the home. Sometimes replacement is the only option when historic plaster cannot be repaired. In these cases a veneer plaster system is is used rather than dry wall. A veneer systems includes a coat or coats of wet plaster thinly applied which will simulate traditional hand troweled finish coats.

When historic plaster walls and/or ceilings damage or deterioration is identified, the historic property owner should secure the services of a reputable historic restoration contractor. It is clear that there is a wide disparity of skills within the trade today. This is some what due to the introduction of gypsum board as a substitute for traditional plastering. As gypsum board became popular, plastering techniques were forgotten because they were often not used. However, repairing or replacing historic plaster walls and/or ceilings require the skills of a true craftsman.

Locating A Qualified Restoration Contractor

historic plaster wallsLocating an experienced restoration contractor who is suitable for your particular project can be a difficult job. You should start with the many professional preservation organizations. They can provide references for historic restoration contractors with experience in historic plaster restoration projects. You can also contact Denver architects with preservation and restoration experience. They can also recommend restoration contractors they feel have done a good job for them in the past.

Once you have identified several historic restoration contractors, their specific experience and abilities need to be evaluated. You should have all prospective contractors visit your job site to see and define the scope of work. They should provide written proposals including prices. This is essential for comparison. References should be provided by all prospective contractors and you must investigate each and every reference to make an informed decision. For very large restoration projects an outside consultant may be engaged to aid in evaluating the experience and proposals of the contractors.

DOWD Restoration has restoration experience from repairing weathered worn and damaged structures to recreating historic architecture to both private homes and commercial properties. Refurbishing a timeworn, derelict or mistreated piece of the past and renovating it for future generations to relish is tremendously satisfying work. Let DOWD Restoration help you with your next historic restoration project!